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Admissions to primary and middle schools: application overview



Applying for a school place starting in September

Before you go ahead and fill in the application form, there are a few things you might want to think about.

  1. If you haven't already, use our tool to compare the characteristics and performance of schools in your area. You can also view a list of schools in the Staffordshire area on the SchoolGuide website.

  2. A good education is about much more than exams, it’s about having the right skills for work and for life. Do you have a feeling for how the schools you like help to build valuable skills like communication and teamwork?

  3. In the future, the best jobs in Staffordshire are likely to be in advanced manufacturing and medical and healthcare technology. This means that science, technology, engineering and maths are really important subjects. Do you know how the schools you like support learning in these areas?

  4. Arranging a visit to the schools on your shortlist is a great way to get questions like these answered and get a feeling for a particular school. Head teachers will welcome you getting in touch so that you can be sure the school is right for your son or daughter before you apply.

How to apply

Primary and middle school applications

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a place is online.

A link will appear below when applications open for September 2020 entry on 01 November 2019. 

In the meantime you can view the known open evening dates for middle schools.  Please contact your preferred primary school for information on any open events in the Autumn Term 2019.

Alternatively, you can make a late application for September 2019 by completing a paper application form.  

Nursery School Applications

We no longer administer the application process for nursery. For information on how to apply, please contact your preferred setting directly.

Who can apply?

Anyone with parental responsibility can apply.

We expect seperated parents to agree on school places before you make an application. We may request evidence from you that this is the case. We cannot intervene in disputes between parents over school applications. You must resolve these privately.

Why do I have to make an application?

You must make an application to ensure that your child is considered for a place at your preferred school. Children are not automatically allocated a place in reception and do not automatically transfer from nursery to reception.

I already have an older child attending my preferred school. Do I still have to apply?

Yes, you must still make an application for your preferred school. Available places are then allocated using the relevant admission arrangements.

Do I have to apply even if I live in the catchment area?

Yes, you are still required to apply.

What happens if I apply after the closing date?

Late applications for schools for which Staffordshire is the admission authority, i.e. community and voluntary controlled schools, will be considered alongside those applicants who applied on time wherever possible. 

If places have already been allocated, late applicants will only be considered afterwards. If one of your preferred schools is not a Staffordshire community or voluntary controlled school then the relevant admission authority may decide not to process your application until after the 16 April, and therefore after places have been allocated.

A late application does not affect the right of appeal or the right to be placed on a school’s waiting list. 

Last year there were over 700 late applications. This may have affected the outcome of these applications

What happens if I don't make an application?

A place at either your catchment area school (if places remain available and there is one designated to your home address) or the nearest school with spaces available will be offered on 16 April. This may not be your catchment school and travel assistance will not necessarily be provided.

How many schools can I apply for?

You are able to name up to three schools in your application and if you wish to apply for more you should let us know. No extra weighting is given for the number of times you include a school on your form.

The majority of parents and carers in Staffordshire get one of their preferred schools (99% in 2019). You must still consider the possibility of not getting your school preferences. This is particularly the case if your preference is for a school that is not within your catchment area.

Consider how your child will get to school. Please view the school travel assistance policy for full details.

How can I find out the catchment school for a certain address?

You can check the catchment areas for various addresses online. Note - your nearest school may not be your catchment area school.

Do I have to name my catchment school?

Your child will not be considered for a place at your catchment area school unless it is named as one of your preferred schools on your application.

I know which school I want my child to go to, why should I have to list other preferences?

If you live in Staffordshire and you only list one school and your child cannot be offered a place at that school, a place will be offered at the nearest school with a space available. There may have been other schools that you would have preferred your child to go to. 

Will I need to provide any additional information?

Some Staffordshire schools may ask you to provide additional information or submit a supplementary form.

For schools outside Staffordshire, you must contact the relevant admission authority and complete any additional or supplementary information in line with any deadlines that they specify.

Please note:

If you wish to provide evidence to support medical grounds or other exceptional circumstances you must obtain the necessary evidence as specified within the admission arrangements. We will not seek to obtain this information on your behalf even if you refer to it in your application. Please email or post any additional information directly to the school admissions team marked clearly with:

  • The name of the child
  • The school requiring the information
  • Whether the application was made online or by other means

Do I need to provide any additional information if I am applying for a faith school?

This will be stated in the admission arrangements for academies, foundation, and voluntary aided schools.

If you have been asked for a baptismal certificate, please send a copy to the school admissions team.

What do I do if I want my child to go to a school outside Staffordshire?

If you are a Staffordshire resident you will still need to make an application via Staffordshire County Council even if you want to apply to a school in another authority. This is because we exchange details of pupils applying for schools outside Staffordshire with all of our neighbouring authorities as part of the co-ordinated admission scheme.

You should view their admission arrangements information so you will know your chances of getting a school place there.

How will I know that my application has been received?

If you use the online service your application will automatically be acknowledged once you submit your application.

What happens if I want to change my preferences after I have submitted my application?

If you wish to change your preferences to include schools not previously named or wish to change your preferences after the offer date of 16 April 2019 you will need to email admissions@staffordshire.gov.uk to make a late application. Your application will be administered in line with the late application process.

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